Sharer Dale, a professional realtor and amateur rider who recently relocated to Aiken from Chagrin Falls, Ohio, has been supplementing her income by outjumping the pros at this winter’s Progressive Show Jumping events. At the Aiken Winter Classic at the end of December, she was fifth in the $10,000 Mini Prix riding her horse Antares, then won the $5,000 Welcome Stake with Antares and took second with her other top jumper Gerry 79. At the Aiken Winter Classic II in early January, she came back to win the $10,000 Mini Prix, again riding Antares. In the jump-off, she bested Daniel Geitner, a top local professional, by nearly six seconds.
“My guys are really good,” says Shari, speaking of her horses. “I bought Antares off a video nine years ago when he was 6. I had told Wilhelm Genn that I needed a horse with a sense of humor, and he picked out Antares for me. Antares was in Germany. The video was of him jumping with a 13-year-old girl riding him. He was obviously so forgiving, with such heart. Every time he came around a corner and saw a fence, his ears would just shoot forward. I knew he was the right horse for me. I could never replace him.”
In addition to her seasoned campaigners, Shari also has two young horses she is excited about. Over the winter she and Sarah Thompson, the Aiken veterinarian, went down to Argentina where they bought three horses from La Tatabra, the best-known breeder of jumping horses in that country. One horse is for Sarah, the other two are for Shari. These horses are just coming 4 this year, so it will be a while before their jumping careers really take off, but watch out for them in the future. Shari keeps her horses at home and rides with Drasius Arkus. When she is not on a horse winning jumper classes, Shari works at Meybohm downtown